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jonathan2200
19-12-2011, 14:00 PM
Ok guys, posted quite a few questions today, mind working overtime with lots of things going round in my head. Just wondering whats your views on prepaid meters used for gas n electric? just found out tyhe property im buying has them fitted, on the face of it think its a good thing and would be a plus point for prospective tennants, am i right thinking this?

Ericthelobster
19-12-2011, 14:07 PM
Just wondering whats your views on prepaid meters used for gas n electric? just found out tyhe property im buying has them fitted, on the face of it think its a good thing and would be a plus point for prospective tennants, am i right thinking this?Depends really on your target market for tenants. If you're going for professionals, then they will not normally regarded as a good thing - such tenants prefer a credit meter which they'll pay by direct debit or as quarterly bill. Direct debit allows you to get the cheapest tarrifs; it's well known that prepayment meters are the most expensive way to get your gas and electricity. Plus they may be adjusted by the utility co to recoup a previous debt, which is pretty nefarious.

On the other hand, if you're letting to, say, a DSS tenant living on a hand-to-mouth existence, they will probably expect and prefer to have a prepayment meter so they can budget for it more easily.

jjlandlord
19-12-2011, 14:10 PM
Prepaid meters are pretty bad if you're looking at rented to "average" tenants.
Not only are they inconvenient but they also cost more: "According to Consumer Focus estimates, prepayment meters can cost on average an additional £195/year for gas and electricity." (from moneysupermarket)

Brb
19-12-2011, 14:18 PM
A big no from me for pre-payment meters.

Be pro-active though and make meter readings part of a detailed inventory. Give utility co the name of T when they move in with readings too.

Oh and I used to be one of those DSS ts but I have always paid via DD and get myself on the cheapest tariff. If a DD is set up straight away then DDs will be cheaper (although I did have to tell BG twice that I wanted to start DD asap instead of waiting 3 months for 1st bill to come through).

jonathan2200
19-12-2011, 14:19 PM
yes thinking of it that way your right, would be an inconvinience for someone working full time. I dont intent to rent to anyone other than either proffessional or working family, not dss.
Would the meter need to be removed to revert to conventional credit system or would it be just a call to energy provider, and if it requires removing what would the approximate cost be??

Snorkerz
19-12-2011, 14:34 PM
The cost to move onto a credit meter is iro £55 per meter.

Companies may not be willing to change to a credit meter for rental properties - this was my experience.

Darth Wookie
19-12-2011, 14:37 PM
You'll need to contact the utilities company regarding the cost. I believe they are reluctant to remove them once fitted as they know they'll be paid for any fuel used.
Personally, I consider prepay meters to be legalised loan sharking. The might make payments 'easier' for hand to mouth tenants, but they charge an outrageous premium for the privelage.

jonathan2200
19-12-2011, 14:39 PM
would i need to tell the provider its a rental property as the property owner?

Darth Wookie
19-12-2011, 14:49 PM
would i need to tell the provider its a rental property as the property owner?

Can't think of any reason why the utilities company would be required to know, except as a courtesy. Obviously your mortgage provider and insurance compnaies need to know.

jonathan2200
19-12-2011, 15:30 PM
ok just phoned supplier and they say £52 per meter to change back (plus they will need to credit score me) dfinately not decided i will change back but it only a week turn around, also i could maybe wait util ready to be let and just see what feedback i get from prospective tennants, if it effects the interest i get then i will just pay to get converted.

thesaint
19-12-2011, 15:50 PM
Change your provider, and then get them to change the meter to a credit meter.
I organise a lot of changes, and we never pay a fee.

Try British Gas.

jonathan2200
20-12-2011, 06:13 AM
Great recommendation, definately worth a few phone calls to different providers, suppose it be worth doing just to get on a better (cheaper) tarriff, every bit i save is profit in my pocket :(grin):

LesleyAnne
20-12-2011, 09:03 AM
Just noticed from one of your other posts, that this property is a repo. Check with the utitites to make sure they know the previous owners have moved on. Reason that pre-pay meters are put it is often to recover bad debts - therefore the tarrif can be ramped up so the debt is recovered more quickly. If utilities are made aware that the debtors are gone, they will chase them elsewhere, and should reduce the charge on your property back to the normal level.

jonathan2200
16-01-2012, 07:31 AM
Great thanks for the replys guys, just to update, my purchase on the repo property has gone through and i get the keys thursday 19th, gonna make a few calls now to see if i can get meters converted to standard credit type (hopefully free of charge), i will let yous know how i get on.

45002
16-01-2012, 09:32 AM
Great thanks for the replys guys, just to update, my purchase on the repo property has gone through and i get the keys thursday 19th, gonna make a few calls now to see if i can get meters converted to standard credit type (hopefully free of charge), i will let yous know how i get on.

Hell jonathan,unfortunately the problem is

If you move new tenants in and they get into debt with a utility supplier and do nothing to clear the debt.

After several warning letters to the tenants,utility supplier can obtain a "Warrant" from a magistrate and change the meter back to pre-payments meters to clear the debt and you cant stop them if they have a valid warrant.

Your back to square one..

And you cannot put into a TA,you cannot change the meters,as the meters fitted will belong to the utility supplier or distribution company depending on the area you live it.

jonathan2200
16-01-2012, 10:14 AM
well i have just called a few suppliers, a couple of them will do it for no charge but all of them say i will need to stay with current supplier for 4-6 weeks while they request to transfare over, my plan is just to explain the situation to prospective tennants, they may prefer to have pre pay, but due to the type location of house im guessing not. hopefully will be able to come to some agreement with getting access by provider to change over.

45002
16-01-2012, 10:22 AM
Forgot to add a tenant will be Free to choose there own utility supplier.

jonathan2200
16-01-2012, 10:55 AM
Yes i realise that, however a credit type meter will give them more choice with suppliers. plus i would also do a comparison first with the likes of uswitch to get it on one of the best tarrif for the area.